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Sarasota News Leader December 21, 2012 OPINION Page 49 CITY���S ZONING CODE DESIGNED TO ALLOW FOR COMPATIBLE USES To the Editor: implementation of the policy document. Specifically, the Comprehensive Plan is clear that Regarding recent discussion of a downtown new development and redevelopment need to entertainment district: I would like to clarify be compatible. the City of Sarasota does not prohibit music or entertainment in the downtown area. The Zoning Code is also clear that property owners are not entitled to the maximum develAcoustic (non-amplified) music has always opment rights unless they meet all regulations been permitted. Acoustic music provides en- ��� including those which address compatibiltertainment that has never created a problem. ity. Several years ago, a noise problem arose when Although compatibility is hard to measure and a few businesses chose to play amplified mu- more difficult to enforce, personally, I don���t sic inside with doors open or outdoors, loud understand a business model (indoors or outenough to disturb their neighbors up to several doors) that chooses to operate with music so blocks away. As a result, the city was forced to loud the customer cannot communicate with establish regulations to address the compati- someone next to them (except during a major bility of amplified music. In essence, outdoor entertainment event). amplified music at business locations was prohibited; however, allowances were provided Ultimately, there is no way to draft any regufor city leaseholders and special events. lation that satisfies everyone. The city also tried, but failed, to regulate ���boom boxes��� in moving vehicles. Mike Taylor Sarasota Now, as the noise regulations are being re-ex- Editor���s note: The writer was a City of Saraamined with the intent of establishing an en- sota planner from 1982 until this year, when tertainment district, how should the city re-ad- he retired. dress the issue? First, city staff members and City Commission should educate the public LETTERS TO THE EDITOR and themselves about the need to enjoy music at different venues and through a variety of The Sarasota News Leader welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. uses (e.g., outdoor cafes or concerts). Second, Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, decision-makers must understand the ramifiand include the name, street address and telephone cations of any options before making changes. After 30 years of drafting policies and zoning regulations as an urban planner for the City of Sarasota, I want to explain that one rationale for any zoning regulation is to establish a degree of compatibility. The hallmark of the city���s Comprehensive (policy) Plan is compatibility. The Zoning Code is a major tool for number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to, with ���Letter to the Editor��� in the subject line. Letters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader.

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